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Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review: Excellent portability

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review: Excellent portability

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED

The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (UX3402) is the latest notebook from the Taiwanese PC maker to feature a lovely OLED screen. Besides the excellent display, this Intel Evo notebook offers portability, good build quality, and long battery life. Performance is impeccable, thanks to its 12th-gen Intel processor and fast SSD. However, its ultra-thin build also means you'll feel the heat on your lap when it's going at full throttle. Pricing-wise, the Zenbook is competitive for its specs, with my Core i7 review unit going for S$1,899.

Quick specs

  • 14-inch 2,880 x 1,800-pixel OLED screen, 90Hz
  • Intel Core i7-1260P processor with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI, microSD card reader, headphone jack
  • 1.39kg

The Zenbook's OLED screen is just as bright (peaks at 500 nits) as the one on the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED. But the Zenbook's 14-inch display is sharper at 2,880 x 1,800 pixels. The bezels are also suitably narrow to achieve a 90% screen-to-body ratio. Like the Huawei MateBook 14s, the Zenbook's screen has a 90Hz refresh rate. However, you likely won't get too much out of it as the Zenbook is not a gaming laptop. Web browsing, though, will feel a tad smoother (try testufo.com). What's more noticeable is the laptop's portability (1.39kg). The laptop itself is so thin that I was tempted to try to bend the chassis. There were some creaking noises, but there wasn't any actual flex. Asus says the Zenbook has passed several MIL-STD-810H stress tests, such as extreme temperatures, vibration and drop tests.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED
The laptop lid can open flat up to 180 degrees. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Like previous Zenbooks, the UX3402 comes with the Asus NumberPad 2.0 feature — a numeric keypad overlay over the touchpad. It's easy to toggle this overlay and it's useful for data entry. I also liked that you can easily disable the webcam for privacy with a hotkey. But the Zenbook's 720p webcam is middling, and exhibits plenty of noise. While there are webcam effects like lighting optimisation and background blurring in the preloaded MyAsus app, they seem to worsen things in my opinion. You also can't unlock the Zenbook with the webcam. Instead, like many modern notebooks, the fingerprint sensor is integrated in the power button for a one-touch login. Besides work, the Zenbook is also great for movies, especially with that brilliant OLED screen. Its Dolby Atmos speakers also offer a good spatial experience in Netflix shows like 6 Underground. But they do sound hollow at higher volumes.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED
Except for the USB-A port, the other ports are located on this side of the laptop. Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Except for the USB-A port, all the ports, like the two Thunderbolt 4 ports and HDMI, are on the right side. This can get in the way for right-handers using a mouse. On the other hand, left-handers using a mouse may find things rather warm. That's because there's an air vent on the left side that spews warm exhaust during demanding workloads. In fact, the laptop base becomes moderately warm during our video-loop battery test. And it definitely gets uncomfortable during benchmarks, with the cooling fan ramping up to very audible levels, too. I won't recommend placing it on your laptop for heavy-duty processing. However, you do get excellent performance out of the Zenbook and its latest 12th-gen Intel Core i7 chip. Its PCMark 10 score of 5,519, for example, improves on the 5,359 achieved by last year's Asus Zenbook 14X OLED, which has an 11th-gen Intel Core i7.

The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED also impressed with its battery stamina. Its 75 watt-hour battery lasted just shy of 9 hours in our video-loop battery test. That's more than an hour longer than the MateBook 14s. In short, the Zenbook is an excellent ultrabook for mobile workers who are constantly moving from one place to another. Just maybe don't start an intensive task till you find a desk or you might find it a tad too warm for comfort. Get it now from Lazada and Shopee.

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Note: Review unit provided by Asus.

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Portable ultrabook with vibrant OLED screen and great battery life.

Available at Lazada
Buy it at Shopee

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